Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Western Tanagers are Fun

Ever since first sighting this bird while looking for its Scarlet cousin at Gregory Canyon I have enjoyed spotting it in the wild. With colors like that, who wouldn't? In my limited experience though this is a bird that has most often been seen from afar.

Last evening on a walk along the Meyer's Homestead Trail in Boulder I had the chance to enjoy some much closer encounters. The brightly colored male above was the first one that I have had fly past me - that leaves an impression! Oddly, he then picked some of the most bland wildflowers and attempted to blend in....

Even his molting buddy had to look twice at that poor attempt at concealment.

Based on what I have found online and in my guides, (Peterson and Sibley in this case), this is more likely a male who is molting back to the more bland autumn and winter plumage than a juvenile developing color. Really, is it that time already?

Such great colors, even mid-molt. To have one interested in me and the camera was fantastic!

Such a welcome sight on a hike, those colors make the miles fly by.

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